Paving the way for a massive inoculation drive, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Sunday approved Oxford's coronavirus vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country. The approval by the DGCI was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
However, senior Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh questioned the DCGI's emergency use authorization for Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine as it is still under phase 3 trial. "The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous," said Tharoor. "Bharat Biotech is a first-rate enterprise, but it is puzzling that internationally-accepted protocols relating to phase 3 trials are being modified for Covaxin," tweeted Jairam Ramesh. They also demanded clarification from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan over the same.
Meanwhile, BJP President JP Nadda later lashed out at the Congress and the Opposition, saying they aren't proud of anything Indian. He added that while the entire country is happy about the approval, the Opposition is filled with anger, ridicule and disdain.
"Time and again we have seen whenever India achieves something commendable - that will further public good - the Congress comes up with wild theories to oppose and ridicule the accomplishments. The more they oppose, the more they are exposed. Latest example is the Covid vaccines," Nadda tweeted.
"To further their own failed politics and nefarious agendas, Congress and other Opposition leaders are trying to cause panic in the minds of the people. I urge them to do politics on other issues, they should avoid playing with people’s previous lives and hard earned livelihoods," he added.
"Congress and the Opposition is not proud of anything Indian. They should introspect about how their lies on the COVID-19 vaccine will be used by vested interest groups for their own agendas. People of India have been rejecting such politics and will keep doing so in the future," Nadda said in a follow-up tweet.